Queen's Birthday AFSMs 2020
Published Date: 08 Jun 2020
Eight NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) members have been recognised for their commitment to the community as part of the annual Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2020.
Congratulations to the following NSW RFS Australian Fire Service Medal recipients:
- Frank Austin - South West Slopes
- Kenneth Mark Egliington - Far North Coast
- John Andrew Foster - Cumberland
- Terrence John Job - Mid Lachlan Valley
- Kenneth James Hall - Far South Coast
- Peter Miranda - Sutherland
- Michael Bernard Neyland - Riverina Highlands
- Christopher Sharp - Chifley Zone/Lithgow Team
Captain Frank Austin - South West Slopes, Area Western
Captain Frank Austin joined the Mundarlo Rural Fire Brigade in 1960. He has been an active member since joining the Mundarlo Rural Fire Brigade.
Captain Austin currently holds the position of President since 2003 and Permit Officer since 2018 and has held the Deputy Captain’s position from 1985 to1996.
Frank Austin is a strong leader within the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) in the Gundagai area and has held the position of Group Officer from 2003 to 2007. His leadership prior to his election as a Group Officer continued to grow and he is a strong advocate of volunteer training across the area. Not only did Captain Austin promote training, but as a strong leader, he also undertook the same training as he expected his members to undertake.
Captain Austin has always endeavored to respond to fire related calls and other incidents. The Mundarlo Brigade is situated adjacent to the Hume Highway south of Gundagai and is a busy brigade responding to motor vehicle accidents. Captain Austin has worked tirelessly to ensure the Mundarlo RFB continues to have an active and motivated membership that is able to respond to needs of the community.
Operationally Captain Austin is still an active member of the NSW RFS and as recent as the 2018/19 fire season he was part of an out of area strike team, to fires burning in the Tumut and Tai Bingo region within Kosciusko National Park. Captain Austin works closely with the Fire Control Centre to monitor conditions to the southern extremity of South West Slopes Zone. This ensures that response to incidents, cross border arrangements locally are in place, and grass curing identified.
Captain Austin’s commitment and dedication to the NSW RFS and community service is recognised by his peers both within and external to the agency.
Captain Frank Austin is a worthy recipient of the Australian Fire Service Medal.
Group Captain Kenneth Mark Egliington - Far North Coast, Area North Eastern
Group Captain Kenneth (Mark) Eglington joined the Cudgen Brigade in 1990, rising through the ranks of Deputy Captain, Senior Deputy Captain, Captain and then Group Captain in 2006.
Group Captain Eglington has been an active member for almost 30 years and has held the position of Permit Officer for 26 years. He is also a member of multiple committees and the district training team. As well as his duties as Group Captain, he is a very active member with Cudgen Brigade and was awarded Life Membership in 2010. He always attends the brigade’s meetings, training, maintenance checks, community fundraising events and call outs. He also regularly assists the Fire Control Centre with maintenance and servicing tasks.
In 2001 and 2006 Group Captain Eglington and his family donated land to enable the Cudgen Brigade to build a station and subsequent extensions. Over the years his efforts through dedication and commitment have been recognised by the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) as well as by the local community. Group Captain Eglington was awarded in 2005 the Paul Harris Fellow by Kingscliff Rotary. In 2015 he was a finalist for the Rotary NSW Emergency Service Community Award for NSW RFS Officer of the year. In 2016 Group Captain Eglington was awarded the Tweed Shire Volunteer of the Year. In 2007 he received the National Medal for his diligent service.
Group Captain Eglington has been deployed to numerous S44 out of area and local events or incident during his membership. He was also a member of the Tweed Representative team at the Regional Championships from 1995 - 2008 and in 2010 he was the Team’s coach and mentor.
Group Captain Eglington is passionate and totally committed to ensuring all members upgrade their skills and qualifications. For decades he has been involved in instructing and mentoring at training courses in the District. He has also organised district Field Days and has diligently attended, participated and or managed scenarios at the Regional North Exercises at Glen Innes for 18 years.
He has been the driving force behind forming the Far North Coast Cobargo fundraising Committee that raised $40,000, overseeing the purchases and transit of materials that were forwarded directly to the Cobargo Community after the devastating 2019-2020 bush fires.
Group Captain Eglington is well respected by his peers and held in regard in the local community. He has demonstrated exemplary service with the NSW RFS. His dedication, commitment and passion to the NSW RFS is depicted by his achievements, community and service recognition.
Group Captain Kenneth Eglington is a worthy recipient of the Australian Fire Service Medal.
Deputy Captain John Andrew Foster - Cumberland, Area Greater Sydney
Deputy Captain John Foster has been an active member of the NSW RFS since joining the Regentville Brigade in 1982.
Deputy Captain Foster has held a number of leadership roles, such as a Deputy Captain and Captain of the Regentville Brigade. Deputy Captain Foster was elected as a Deputy Group Captain for the Cumberland Zone in 2005, then Group Captain, a position in which he stood down from in 2018. Deputy Captain Foster remains an active member of the Mulgoa Brigade in the Cumberland Zone.
During his 13 years in a Group Officer position, Deputy Captain Foster actively represented the members of the Cumberland Zone as a member of the Senior Management Team and many other forums.
Whilst in the position of Captain of the Regentville Brigade, Deputy Captain Foster developed the brigade into the strong and resilient brigade it is today. Deputy Captain Foster project managed the construction of three stages of building upgrades to the current brigade station, ensuring it was fit for the future. Additionally, Deputy Captain Foster has managed and driven many other building projects in the Cumberland Zone.
During his time as Captain at the Regentville Brigade, Deputy Captain Foster was a strong advocate for the brigade to expand into the area of marine firefighting. Deputy Captain Foster drove this process which eventually saw the introduction of a fire boat to the brigade.
For a long period of time, Deputy Captain Foster has been devoted to the planning and implementation of bush fire hazard reduction and mitigation works within the Cumberland Zone. Deputy Captain Foster was one of the Cumberland Zone's first Prescribed Burn Supervisors and has mentored and encouraged many members in this area.
Deputy Captain Foster has attended and provided important operational leadership at many incidents throughout New South Wales, including the 2006 Weddin Mountain Fire as well as many fast moving, high impact bush and grass fires in the Cumberland Zone and surrounding areas.
Deputy Captain John Foster is well-respected by members of the Cumberland Zone and broader community, and his outstanding commitment for nearly four decades makes him a worthy recipient of the Australian Fire Service Medal.
Firefighter / Group Captain (Retired) Terrence John Job - Mid Lachlan Valley, Area Western
Firefighter Terrence John Job joined the West Parkes Rural Fire Brigade in March 1966.
During his almost 53 years of service he has held the positions of Deputy Captain, Captain and Group Captain which he has recently retired from however he remains an active member of the West Parkes Rural Fire Brigade.
In his role as Group Captain, Firefighter Job has had major involvement in several major incidents in the local area. He is highly respected by his peers and his wealth of experience allows him to make well informed decisions on the fire ground.
Firefighter Job has not only been a very active member in the Mid Lachlan Valley Team area he has also travelled all over NSW leading strike teams to places including the Blue Mountains, Nowra, Tamworth, Canberra and interstate to Victoria.
As a member of the Rural Fire Service Association, Firefighter Job serves on the State RFS Membership Services Committee and was previously a member of the State Infrastructure Services Committee for five years. Firefighter Job has always been a strong advocate for the volunteers he represents and is passionate about ensuring they are provided with the most modern equipment and safety gear that is available.
Firefighter Job was instrumental in starting the NSW RFS Cadet program at Parkes High School which has been running for the past 14 years with an average of 18 students per year. Without his dedication and presence, this program would not have continued for so long. The cadet program is so popular that each year more candidates apply than there are available places. Only the best are selected to participate and the standard of graduates is very high. A large percentage of these students have progressed to become full time members of the RFS.
Firefighter Job is highly regarded in the local community and is a member of the Mid Lachlan Valley Team Senior Management Team, the Parkes District Liaison Committee and the Parkes Local Emergency Management Committee. His contribution to these groups is invaluable.
Firefighter/Group Captain (Retired) Terrence John Job is a worthy recipient of the Australian Fire Service Medal
Firefighter / Chief Superintendent Kenneth James Hall - Far South Coast, South Eastern
Chief Superintendent Kenneth (Ken) James Hall joined the NSW RFS in 1988 as a volunteer of the Condobolin Bush Fire Brigade. In 1995 Ken became the Honorary Fire Control Officer (FCO) for Lachlan Shire before being appointed as FCO for the South West Slopes Zone. Chief Superintendent Hall relocated to Batemans Bay in 2002 where he commenced in the position of Regional Operations Manager before being promoted to Regional Manager South in 2010 and remains as an active volunteer with Long Beach brigade.
Throughout his period of service as both a volunteer and staff member, Chief Superintendent Hall has demonstrated exceptional leadership, commitment and achievement in many areas.
During his time at South West Slopes Zone, Chief Superintendent Hall played an integral role in successfully negotiating the first Zone budget for the Service. Through this, he provided the benchmark for future zoning arrangements for the RFS. As part of the District staff transfer in 2001, he was selected to represent his colleagues on the Workforce Planning and Organisational Structure Review Team. This team was instrumental in formulating the structural framework for both District and Regional Offices, with Ken's commitment and expertise contributing to its overall success.
During his career he has shown a proactive and professional approach to management and in particular the Operations field. Chief Superintendent Hall has successfully introduced the initiative of Lessons Learned Interactive Field Trips (LUFT) across the state. This interactive field trip with both staff and senior volunteers looks at areas that have been impacted by major fires and has proved to be an invaluable tool for post incident analysis and corrective action.
Over the years Chief Superintendent Hall has developed and maintained strong inter agency and interstate relationships, in particular with CFA and ACT RFS in cross border arrangements and through his multiple deployments in various incident management roles within both NSW and interstate. His extensive experience in Operations has seen him appointed as the State Operations Controller and Major Incident Coordinator for large and complex incidents. His significant knowledge and expertise in Incident Management saw Chief Superintendent Hall being selected to undertake the Incident Controller Major Incidents (ICMI) development program in which he has gone on to become a mentor for future candidates of the program.
Chief Superintendent Hall is committed to the development and up skilling of staff and played an integral role in the development of the Advanced Diploma of Management course that was run in 2016. Ken worked closely with TAFE NSW to develop a course that matched the competency requirements of a tertiary qualification with the unique service delivery requirements of a response agency. Chief Superintendent Hall has introduced a significant volunteer component into the annual Incident Management Exercises by including volunteer personnel in all functional areas as well as introducing Divisional Commander roles, thus facilitating increased skill levels of members at all levels prior to fire season and ensuring IMT personnel and fire line command personnel have a comprehensive understanding of situational awareness, intelligence gathering and reporting processes.
Through his dedication and professionalism, he has consistently earned the respect of his subordinates, peers and superiors alike.
Chief Superintendent Hall is a worthy recipient of the Australian Fire Service Medal
Deputy Captain / District Officer Peter Miranda - Sutherland, Region East
Deputy Captain Peter Miranda started his career in 1977 when he was employed by Sutherland Shire Council in the Bushfire Prevention Crew and has worked his way to District Officer. In 1978 he joined the Headquarters Bushfire Brigade as a probationary member. After completing his Basic training Deputy Captain Miranda continued to focus on training and has completed many courses within the NSW Rural Fire Service.
He was voted Deputy Captain by his peers in 1978 still holding this position today. Operationally for the past 42 years, Deputy Captain Miranda has continuously made himself available, attending a significant number of incidents across the Sutherland Shire and Section 44 out of area incidents.
Deputy Captain Miranda has shown sincere compassion and kindness to both the members and family of his Brigade as well as the local community. In particular, on 3 November 1980 saw the tragic loss of five firefighters from his brigade. Deputy Captain Miranda unselfishly spent the following years supporting the three families where he could by mowing lawns, taking cars for servicing, performing general maintenance and just being there for them. The Christmas Fires in 2001 saw him away from his own family at Christmas, heavily involved in coordinating aerial assets for the Lower Blue Mountains/Emu Plains area.
Since gaining qualifications in August 1992 Deputy Captain Miranda has numersou hours performing in the role of Air Attack Supervisor and Air Observer at both local and state incidents. During the 1994 fires he was the Liaison Officer in charge of the Navy Firefighting contingency for the Grays Point/Royal National Park Fires.
Deputy Captain Miranda over the years has trained and mentored in excess of 40 members in obtaining their heavy vehicle driver’s license. Deputy Captain Miranda’s working career as the District Officer has seen him oversee the construction of 11 new Brigade Stations within the District including the first of its kind purpose built floating fire station for Woronora. He was instrumental in the development and ongoing training of the Shires Caffs system on two specialized Category 1 tankers in 1999 as well as the design and construction of three purpose built firefighting boats.
Deputy Captain Miranda continually provides support and counsel to the District staff and volunteers. He provides support to the Sutherland Shire SES Unit for urgent and complex IT issues as well as coordinating building, equipment repairs and maintenance both during and after hours.
After the Sydney storms on 27 April 1999, Deputy Captain Miranda provided mapping expertise to the SES along with Air Observer Skills and reconnaissance. He also assists NSW Police annually with his expertise in mapping the locations of homeless people in the District.
Deputy Captain Peter Miranda is a worthy recipient of the Australian Fire Service Medal.
Group Captain Michael Bernard Neyland - Riverina Highlands, South Western
Group Captain Michael Neyland joined the Adelong Rural Fire Brigade in January 1973 at the age of 16.
Group Captain Neyland was Adelong’s Deputy Captain from 1990 to 2002, Senior Deputy Captain from 2002 to 2004 and Captain from 2004 to 2005. He was Mt Horeb’s Vice President from 2003 to 2006. In 2003 to 2015 he held the position of Deputy Group Captain before being elected to Group Captain in 2015.
Group Captain Neyland is an active member of both the Adelong and Mt Horeb Brigades and currently holds the position of Brigade Treasurer with the Adelong Brigade which he was held since 2003. He is Mt Horeb's Training Officer a position he has held also since 2003
Group Captain Neyland currently holds the position of Group Captain for Tumut Group North and is responsible for the guidance of four of Riverina Highland's most remote rural brigades. Group Captain Neyland has built a firm relationship with these brigades and has held this position since 2015. He has great local knowledge and he has the ability to pass this knowledge on in a ‘down to earth, easily understood way’ to new Rural Fire Service (RFS) members, out of area crews and S44 Incident Management Team personnel on a regular basis.
Group Captain Neyland has volunteered on countless out of area deployments across NSW and Victoria and in more recent times encourages and advocates for younger members to volunteer for these deployments. He is regularly heard saying "you learn more on a single out of area deployment than you will learn in a whole season at home".
Group Captain Neyland is renowned for his often unorthodox approach to firefighting and has a reputation of being able to get the job done particularly in trying or complex situations. He is not afraid to voice his opinion and will bring forward what others are thinking. Due to this approach Group Captain Neyland has gained the respect of both RFS staff and volunteers from across the state.
Group Captain Neyland encourages and mentors' young people into the RFS and recently assisted at the Holbrook RFS Cadet Field Day. He has engaged numerous people in the local community to join the RFS and accept positions within brigades. A recent example is when he took up the challenge to reinvigorate two deteriorating brigades by developing and initiating a plan resulting in one of these brigades now becoming one of the more active brigades in the district.
Group Captain Neyland supports the District staff during major operations and is one of the first to arrive and is always the last one to leave.
Group Captain Neyland has been the RFSA delegate for the area for many years and has sought grants for brigade equipment for a number of brigades. He was recently successful in obtaining a grant to purchase electronic tablets for all the District Group Officers for use with the Collector mapping software.
Group Captain Neyland has been a regular member of the Snowy Valleys Bush Fire Management Committee, he represents the district at many RFS region and state functions and activities and also assists with the establishment and ongoing maintenance of the Tumut Airbase.
Group Captain Neyland was awarded the 25 year RFS Award in 2003 and National Medal and 1st Clasp in 2007.
Group Captain Michael Neyland is a worthy recipient of the Australian Fire Service Medal.
Group Captain Christopher Sharp - Chifley Zone/Lithgow Team, Area Western
Group Captain Christopher Sharp joined Portland Brigade in 1990 and immediately became a very active member. In 2001 he was voted in as a Deputy Captain, a position he held until 2005. He took on the role of Senior Deputy Captain in 2006 and held that position for over 10 years. In 2008 he became a Deputy Group Captain and held that position until he was voted in as a Group Captain in 2015.
Group Captain Sharp has been instrumental in reviving group training days in the northern area of the Lithgow District. He has ensured that locations like Glen Alice and Capertee receive appropriate training to maintain the membership and keep their skills up to date to safeguard survival of the Brigades.
Group Captain Sharp has been Portland Brigade's Training Officer for 15 years as well as being a member of the Lithgow District Training Committee for 13 years. He held the position of Chairman of this Committee for 9 years. During this time, he has worked long and hard to ensure a single Training Committee was created across the Bathurst, Oberon and Lithgow districts for more coordinated and effective training. He now holds the position of Deputy Chair of the Chifley/Lithgow Training Committee. Group Captain Sharp has also been a member on the State Working Group for the development of the Fire Ground Communications Course.
Group Captain Sharp provides all levels of training and has gained high-level skills in Chainsaw and Village Firefighter training and these skills are sought after across the Chifley/Lithgow district. He now instructs and assesses on all mainstream courses from basic to group leader level. He is a specialist instructor/assessor/coordinator for chainsaw and rural fire driving. He has also gained his Certificate IV in Training and Assessment which has been very beneficial in his training roles. His ability to liaise with the Team staff when planning and delivering training is exemplary.
Group Captain Sharp has also been involved with the Region East Exercise, coordinating events in 2011 and 2012. He also assists in the co-ordination of the Bi-Annual Major Chifley/Lithgow Team Exercise which brings together brigades from Lithgow, Bathurst and Oberon Districts to network and practice firefighting skills in a practical way. On a local level he runs additional workshops to assist brigades for their training days and assists with Group training days and training with external agencies and authorities.
Currently all members of the Lithgow District hold the necessary and appropriate training levels thanks largely to the work of Group Captain Sharp and his dedicated team of trainers. He was also very involved in the development of the Hot Fire Trailer during 2009 and remains one of the main instructors on its use. This trailer has become a valuable training tool for the local brigades and is also used during training activities with other agencies and authorities.
Group Captain Christopher Sharp is also a representative on the Chifley/Lithgow Senior Management Team. He is a well-respected, dedicated and committed member of the RFS and a great mentor (or current and new members.
Group Captain Christopher Sharp is a worthy recipient of the Australian Fire Service Medal.
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Contact Phone: (02) 9898 1855